How does air restistance affect a projectile?

• lindsey0307
In summary, air resistance, or drag, affects the trajectory of a projectile by slowing it down and changing its direction. It also reduces the speed and distance a projectile can travel, with objects with larger surface areas or slower speeds experiencing more air resistance. However, air resistance can be reduced to increase the range of a projectile, but this can also affect its stability and accuracy.

lindsey0307

For maximum hang time & distance (with no air resistance) a projectile should be launched at an angle of 45°. However, when air resistance is present, how does this affect the angle at which the projectile is launched at (to achieve maximum hang time and distance)?

I would think that the projectile would need to be launched at an angle less than 45° since air resistance affects the horizontal distance, but I don't believe I'm correct.

Thanks!

See pages C7, C8, and C9 in,

http://www.hnsa.org/doc/firecontrol/partc.htm

The rest of the booklet is an interesting read.

1. How does air resistance affect the trajectory of a projectile?

Air resistance, also known as drag, acts in the opposite direction of the projectile's motion. As the projectile moves through the air, it collides with air molecules, which slow it down and change its direction. This results in a curved trajectory rather than a straight line.

2. Does air resistance affect the speed of a projectile?

Yes, air resistance does affect the speed of a projectile. As the projectile moves through the air, it experiences a force of drag that opposes its motion. This force causes the projectile to slow down, reducing its speed over time.

3. How does air resistance affect the distance a projectile can travel?

Air resistance can significantly decrease the distance a projectile can travel. As the projectile moves through the air, it loses energy due to air resistance, which reduces its overall range. This is why projectiles with less drag, such as bullets, can travel further than those with more drag, such as feathers.

4. Is air resistance the same for all projectiles?

No, air resistance is not the same for all projectiles. The amount of drag a projectile experiences depends on its shape, size, and velocity. Objects with larger surface areas or slower speeds will experience more air resistance than objects with smaller surface areas or faster speeds.

5. Can air resistance be reduced to increase the range of a projectile?

Yes, air resistance can be reduced to increase the range of a projectile. This can be achieved by changing the shape of the projectile to reduce its surface area, increasing its speed, or using materials that are less affected by air resistance. However, reducing air resistance too much can also make the projectile unstable and affect its accuracy.